Blank Wall Nightmare Finding Pictures, Wall Artifacts And Decorations - Interior Decorating - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 06-02-2011, 09:06 PM   #1
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blank wall nightmare finding pictures, wall artifacts and decorations

Hey all - we have a major dilemma. We've had blank walls for about a year since we moved in. We go to friend's houses and they seem so nice. Our home is just as nice, but we have no decorations.

The major problem is that it's not from lack of looking. Around where we live, we have TJ Maxx/Homegoods, Macy's, IKEA, Bombay, Target, Walmart, etc etc etc. Simply tons of choices.

We walk in, and it just seems like nothing is right. We're like "hey, that's a cool giant wicker orb with spiral things coming out of it. Yeah, no idea where we'd put that." We will occasionally find single items we like - but we don't buy them because we think it would have to go with some general design theme, then that piece would force us to stick in that theme.

Then wall art - we have a TON of walls to cover - we could probably hand 30-40 pictures. Yet we have not found even a single one yet. For whatever reason, nothing has stood out. Seems like those decorations should be an extension of us.

You'd think we're hard to please - but we're not! We'll go to a friend's house, a restuarant, hotel - and LOVE everything they have. We'd carbon copy it all and put it our home. But stuff at hotels and restuarants isn't usually available at stores like Target and the like. And with friend's houses - they've collected stuff over they years. So it's not like they can say "oh yeah, just go to XZY store and buy it all there!"

So we don't know where to go next. Our budget is perhaps $1000-$2000, or else we'd hire an interior designer to go shopping for us.

Even better - somebody stick us on one of those design shows!!!!


Last edited by denemante; 06-02-2011 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:14 PM   #2
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Your shopping spots make me cringe. WalMart does not sell art!

You must have art galleries near you or at least a starving artist or two hiding out somewhere within 100 miles. That is where I think you will find the things you will like.

Bless you for not crapping up your walls just to have something hanging.

By the way, once you become friends with galleries? You can stuff yourself with treats and drink free wine at openings (I learned this getting my fine arts degree) and galleries love any warm blooded bodies in attendance at openings. None should pressure you to buy anything beyond your tolerance for being pressured.

Of course everybody is snooty and high brow. What complete nonsense. It amazes me people are afraid of such places and would pay $250 for a mass produced thing at target when they could get an original at a gallery or something.

Classic them and us thinking I guess. Ever find yourself in Central Illinois my BFF owns this gallery. She is about as laid back as you can imagine. Her artists and artisans are basically grown up kids that play with paint, clay, metal, glass and so forth and just love yucking it up between themselves and anyone else walking through the door and willing to engage them.

I was part owner of a gallery in SoHo NYC for a time. Lost a lot of money. I would have licked your shoes clean just to have you visit. But know, you would walk past thinking you would never fit in or belong.

Your idea to hire an interior designer is also not a bad one. I love the relationships I have had with mine over the years on my homes and my projects. They will save you a fortune on nice stuff. You will enjoy the experience.

You know, sometimes we forgot what we have on hand. Are you sure you don't have a special photograph or two that with manipulation and framing could not look nice.

Do take your time. Once you start filling empty walls and even ceilings (a friend does mobiles in Philadelphia that are spectacular) you will not be able to stop.

Do not get sucked into buying art for its current or future value. Buy it for the fact that you like it hanging in your house. But you know, from personal experience, you sometimes get really lucky and pieces escalated in value if they are original. A piece of trinket stuff or crap art from Target or WalMart will depreciate completely to nothing as you swipe your credit card. You will own the 450,000th copy of whatever you picked when you could have had something special.


Last edited by user1007; 06-04-2011 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:11 AM   #3
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Thanks for the thoughtful replies. We're certainly people who appreciate nice things. We're on a modest budget - and with young kids, that budget is a time budget as well.

In the past, I have decorated with stuff personal to me, or stuff that was "me" or "us".

Yet what is the purpose of decorating? Certainly, it's to make one feel at home. So putting stuff only you like or that means something to you would be "true". Yet at the same time, don't you want a great feeling when you have a party and all the guests compliment you on your home? If that's the case, then you'd better have rock-steady tastes or else those old boots you had bronzed and are hanging from a rusty nail will just look weird. It's the same challenge a designer faces when doing a hotel or restaurant. Maybe everyone wouldn't do it in their home - but it's still a "wow", "this is really nice", or simple a general positive response. But since we are talking about homes, you still want something you like.

Then - you have the phenonenom of just how fast you get used to stuff where you suddently don't notice it like the day it was placed. So you can quickly lose the ability to be subjective.

All that said, somehow, I think our tastes have drifted perhaps towards some "norm". In middle America (or Atlanta) - our dinner guests (travelled, educated people mind you) probably won't want to stare down one decoration and want to know the story. Rather, it's an overall thing. They might not say "did you see that?" Instead, it's just "wow, they have a nice house". That's our goal. And it's not for them - it's not really to impress. It's simply a comfort design that's easy and it works. We like it. Others like it. We are comfortable because we have a "nice" home.

Since I posted here - I went out to the "dreadful" stores I mentioned in my original post. I said "I'm a billionaire - price is no object" (since I can return what I don't like). And I had a hard time spending $250. I certainly don't need a cheesy pic of James Dean smoking by a streetlight. But I did find some cool stuff, and it works so far.

One thing was obvious. Now that I see some of the stuff - I could make it myself with scrap. Or - I could buy something that has some wrong colors and just spray paint it. That's my next move - so long as I can do it quick.

I'd love to buy original art - I do appreciate it. But there is a preconceived notion that it's very expensive - like for the cost of a single piece, I could have 10 large separate reprints from Bed Bath and Beyond. And as noted above - unless you drag people to it and point out where and when you got it - it would probably just blend in anyway.

And the sadder part about original art is that it's less disposable.

To me - as I feel right now - I'm 110% laser-beam focused on just how well some piece will look in my house.

I buy it and hang it - done - 3 days later, I'm already used to it and it blends in like it's always been there - down to about 40% of original importance.

Friends come over, and it's just background scenary to them.

And since I walk past it every day - now it's part of the wall to me - down to maybe 10%. I'd stare at that piece for an hour trying to decide in the store - pull the trigger - and in just a few days or weeks - its importance is so diminished. And in a few years, we'll look up and say "yeah, it's time to redecorate". It's sold at a yard sale for $4. But we wouldn't toss away something I bought at a gallery - so we'd be stuck with it. We've have grown tired - so it would probably be taking up space in our basement - for our kids to sell at a yardsale in 25 year for $4.

So in the end - I think the original responder had it right - buy, try, return, keep, etc. And if we do stick to box stores, we'll cover more ground easier and cheaper, and more readily be able to redecorate in a few years.
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:30 AM   #4
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When I wanted some cheap artwork that pleased me for my office, I ordered some fine art prints from, and then I bought frames to put them in. Some I matted myself, but you could have that done for you if you aren't handy with a mat cutter. I got works of art that I liked, and that were not stuff you'd see in Target or a hotel, but rather prints of fine art. At the same time I didn't spend a ton of money on it. Now I've also picked up some original art for the house--it's great to support local artists and also get original art that I love. I found the original art at a coffee house and an art show locally. You might try those sorts of venues to see if there's anything you really like.
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Old 06-25-2011, 03:48 PM   #5
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I'm not sure what your decorating tastes are but if you're want to hang photos, paintings or prints, even low cost items can be made much more interesting with the right frame. This site has some interesting and unique frames. Most are rustic in style, many made from reclaimed barnwood so they may not fit your tastes. There are other decorating accents for sale too. Well worth a look!
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Old 06-26-2011, 10:20 PM   #6
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I advice you better find and expert in interior design, they will advice you what color to choose, what theme of your house, the furniture fit with the theme and etc. in my opinion, just you wallpaper merge it with suitable furniture, just do simple thing and dont make your head spin..
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Old 07-01-2011, 01:38 PM   #7
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I had a big naked wall, nothing seemed right, so I did a little mural. I never liked the look of wallpaper, to busy. And I didnt want frames and canvas on this wall. But it looks great, and I always get compliments when people see it. Its also just to our liking, and was free, just leftover trim paint.

Here is what I did..

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Old 07-04-2011, 12:56 AM   #8
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Have you tried Hobby Lobby? I love so many of their things and they def. have stuff for just about every taste!


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